The tech landscape has seen a continuous ebb and flow between industry giants Microsoft and Apple over the last few decades. This constant battle has often placed them at odds, each with their own ecosystems and innovations.

However, as we find ourselves in 2024, a remarkable convergence has occurred. Microsoft and Apple have acknowledged the strength in collaboration, culminating in a “Better Together” story that is transforming the enterprise IT environment.

A Shift in Culture and Collaboration

Historically, the rivalry between Microsoft and Apple extended beyond market competition to a cultural level within the organizations. The tech world saw these ecosystems as mutually exclusive, creating challenges for enterprises that had to juggle support and integration for both.

However, this dynamic has shifted dramatically. With Microsoft focusing on cloud technologies and Apple continuing to innovate at the device level, a new era of collaboration has emerged. Microsoft’s cloud dominance, exemplified by services like Azure and the suite of Office applications, combined with Apple’s tremendous device experience, has laid the groundwork for a seamless integration.

The Emergence of Declarative Device Management (DDM)

A pivotal development in this collaboration is Apple’s introduction of Declarative Device Management (DDM). This innovation allows Apple devices to asynchronously apply settings and report status back to the Mobile Device Management (MDM) system. This capability is a significant leap forward for businesses that require a unified management approach across diverse device ecosystems.

Previously, enterprises had to deploy separate MDM solutions for Windows and Apple devices, with JAMF typically managing the latter. This segregation resulted in complex IT support structures and inefficient workflows. DDM, however, enables a cohesive management strategy using Microsoft Intune, bringing both Apple and Windows devices under a single control plane .

Single Sign-On with Microsoft Entra ID

Building on the foundation laid by DDM, Apple and Microsoft took a significant step forward in by April 2024 with the introduction of single sign-on (SSO) capabilities using Microsoft Entra ID for Apple devices using a plug-in. This advancement allows users to leverage the same identity and authentication methods across Windows, Mac, and iOS devices. This was followed in May 2024 by the introduction of Platform SSO for MacOS devices, which is now in public preview.

For end users, this means a seamless and familiar experience akin to using Windows Hello or Face ID for accessing applications, regardless of the device they are on. For IT departments, it translates into enhanced security and simplified management through passwordless authentication and conditional access policies that are consistent across all devices.

The Impact on Enterprise IT

The integration of DDM and SSO with Microsoft Entra ID within Intune is a game changer for enterprise IT. It addresses several longstanding challenges:

Unified Device Management: Enterprises can now manage Windows and Apple devices from a single console, simplifying IT operations and reducing the need for specialized support teams.

Enhanced Security: With the ability to apply conditional access policies across all devices, organizations can ensure robust security measures are consistently enforced.

Improved User Experience: End users benefit from a seamless authentication experience, enhancing productivity and reducing friction in accessing work applications.

Looking Ahead: AI and the Future of Endpoint Management

As we look to the future, the integration of AI into endpoint management is poised to further transform the enterprise landscape. Apple’s advancements with neural processing units and Microsoft’s upcoming AI-powered PCs highlight the potential for intelligent, adaptive management solutions that can anticipate and respond to user needs and security threats in real-time.


The convergence of Microsoft and Apple’s ecosystems, facilitated by innovations like DDM and SSO with Entra ID, marks a significant milestone in enterprise IT. This collaboration not only simplifies device management but also enhances security and user experience, setting the stage for a future where AI-driven solutions will further revolutionize how we manage and interact with technology in the workplace.

As these technologies continue to evolve, enterprises stand to gain from the synergy of two industry leaders working together to create a more integrated and secure digital environment.

Amplifying efficiency and security

The Intune Suite Guide

Learn about features and strategies such as:

  • Endpoint Privilege Management: elevate user access privileges as needed

  • Enterprise App Management: discovery, packaging, deployment and patching of Windows apps

  • Cloud PKI: publish and distribute certificates from Intune without complex PKI

  • Tunnel for MAM: secure access to LOB apps from unmanaged mobile devices

  • Advanced Analytics: predict which machines, applications and users will have issues

  • Remote Help: unlock the seamless interface between the service desk agent and end-user